Letters Versus Meetings

In some cases, it may be more effective for a student to appeal the financial aid office through a face-to-face meeting with an administrator. Either way, it's a good idea to review your college's financial aid appeals process before you write a letter or make an appointment.

Financial Aid Appeal Letter Formats

Most college financial aid offices have their own procedures in place for students who wish to appeal. The process may be different between each school, yet in general, most financial aid offices will accept and consider financial aid appeal letters.

Appeal letters should follow a simple business letter approach. A typed letter will ensure that your message is legible. It looks more professional than a handwritten letter. Avoid using exotic fonts -- a simple letter typed in Times New Roman will make a more positive impact than a sheet covered in flowery script.

At the top of the letter should be the date, the name of the financial aid administrator for your college and the college's address. You'll explain your situation and why you think the administrator should reconsider his or her decision about your financial aid. In closing, you'll include your own name and address. Below you'll find what a sample letter would look like.

January 20, 2010

George Smith, Financial Aid Administrator

University of HSW

123 University Lane

Atlanta, GA 30326

Dear Mr. Smith:

Thank you for the offer of financial aid for attending the University of HSW. However, my family's financial status has changed since the application process.

The XYZ Company recently downsized several employees and my mother was one of those affected. As a result, my family is not going to be able to support my college education to the extent we expected during the application process.

I would be grateful if you could adjust my financial aid offer in light of this information. Please let me know what paperwork and information you need. Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

Student

222 Oak Lane

Gainesville, GA 30566

Home: (555) 555-5555